Kaitlyn Schenone-RasmussenMcCulloch vs Maryland (1819)The Second Bank of the US was created and the state of Maryland passed legislation to impose taxes on the bank. James W. Mcculloch (cashier of Baltimore branch of the bank) refused to pay the tax. Basic Facts- -It was argued in 1819 and decided on March 6th, 1819. -One of the first cases about federal power-Decided by the Supreme CourtHolding (decision)- The Court decided that Congress could keep the bank and Maryland could not tax the bank. Congress has implied powers under the Necessary and proper Clause of Art. 1, Sect. 8 of the Constitution. Majority Opinion- Maryland may not impose a tax on the bank.Dissenting OpinionIn favor of Maryland’s right to impose a tax on the US BankWhy This Case is Important-The Supreme Court used their right to review the Constitution and they expanded federal power. The Supreme court also restricted the federal government's right to regulate interstate commerce.Oyez.com United States vs. LopezIssue-
Alfonzo Lopez carried a concealed weapon to school and was charged under Texas law with firearm possession on school premises. The charges were dismissed after federal agents charged him with violation of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. But, was the Act unconstitutional because Congress exceeded its authority under the commerce clause? Basic Facts- -Lopez was sentenced to 6 months in prison-Located in San Antonio, Texas by a 12th graderHolding (decision)- Supreme Court ruled the Gun-Free School Zones Act unconstitutional because congress had exceeded its authority under the commerce clause. Majority Opinion- 5-4 ruled unconstitutional. Dissenting Opinion-4 thought it was constitutional Why This Case is Important-It marked the first time in almost 60 years that the Supreme Court found that Congress had exceeded its power to regulate interstate commerce. Oyez.com Engel Vs. VitaleIssue- The New York State Board of Regents made the students pray at the start of each school day, andmany claimed that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
Basic Facts- -6-1 decision-Only a month longHolding (decision)- The state cannot hold prayers in public schools, even if religion is not tied into it. Majority Opinion- Religious exercise in school violated the first amendment, Dissenting OpinionJustice Stewart argued that no “official religion” was established by letting those who want to say a prayer say it. Why This Case is Important-Now the school can't force students to pray, but students are welcome to pray at any time they want. School leaders or state official can lead prayers. Oyez.com
Wisconsin vs YoderIssue- The state of Wisconsin fined 3 Amish families for refusing to send their kids to school past 8th grade. Did the law requiring all students attend school until age 16 violate the free exercise clause of the 1st amendment?